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Libraries Advocating for Open Access: Best Practices and Lessons Learnt


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Best practices and lessons learnt from national and institutional open access (OA) advocacy campaigns in EIFL partner countries to reach out to research communities. Recommendations are based on 11 case studies showcasing successful national and institutional campaigns in Eastern Europe and Africa (in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Sudan and Zimbabwe). The campaigns resulted in increased understanding and awareness about OA. Most transferable elements that made the projects succeed (strategies, tactics and tools) are described.

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Libraries Advocating for Open Access: Best Practices and Lessons Learnt

  1. 1. Libraries advocating foropen access: Best practicesand lessons learntIryna KuchmaEIFL Open Access Programme ManagerFifth Belgrade International Open Access Conference 2012National Library of Serbia, May 18, 2012 – May 19, Attribution 3.0 Unported
  2. 2. Removing barriers to knowledge sharingEIFL-OA: open access
  3. 3. EIFL-OAachievements440+ OA repositories & 3,400+ OA journals inEIFL partner countriesOA policies have been adopted by 33 institutionsin the EIFL network62 awareness raising, advocacy & capacitybuilding events & workshops in 2003-2011 in 32countries with participants from over 50countries
  4. 4. “Open access to research is a must forthe competitiveness of Europe”
  5. 5. OA in the European UnionChapter 2.5.2 of the Digital Agenda for Europe – Driving ICT innovation by exploiting the single market – refers to effectively managed knowledge transfer activities & states that publicly funded research should be widely disseminated through Open Access publication of scientific data & papers
  6. 6. OA in the European Union (2)Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union: the Commission will promote open access to the results of publicly funded research; & it will aim to make open access to publications the general principle for projects funded by the EU research Framework Programmes
  7. 7. OA in the European Union (3)Since August 2008 the European Commission (EC) is conducting a pilot initiative on OA to peer reviewed research articles in its Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7)The EC requires grant recipients in 7 areas to "deposit peer reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their FP7 projects into an online repository & make their best efforts to ensure OA to these articles"
  8. 8. OA in the European Union (4)7 areas are: Energy, Environment (including Climate Change), Health, Information and Communication Technologies (Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics), Research Infrastructures (e- infrastructures), Science in society and Socio- economic sciences & the humanitiesOA to these publications is to be ensured within 6 months after publication in the first 5 areas listed; and 12 months in the last 2 areas listed
  9. 9. OA in the European Union (5)The EC wants to ensure that the results of the research it funds are disseminated as widely and effectively as possible to guarantee maximum exploitation & impact in the world of researchers and beyond;OA to research articles helps to increase the impact of the EUs investment in research & development & to avoid wasting time & valuable resources on duplicative research;
  10. 10. OA in the European Union (6)With access to a wider selection of literature, researchers can build upon this knowledge to further their own work;Small & medium sized businesses & entrepreneurs can also benefit from improved access to the latest research developments to speed up commercialisation and innovation.
  11. 11. OA in the European Union (7)The ERC Guidelines for Open Access (Dec 2007):The ERC requires that all peer-reviewed publications from ERC-funded research projects be deposited on publication into an appropriate research repository where available, such as PubMed Central, ArXiv or an institutional repository, and subsequently made OA within 6 months of publication.
  12. 12. StrategiesHigh-level stakeholders are important for effective national advocacy
  13. 13. TacticsWhen libraries run OA advocacy campaigns they need to recruit more allies
  14. 14. “OA can only be positively evaluated... In my opinion, if there is no classified information, the results of scientific research should be freely accessible. Theresearch is paid from EU funds or from thebudget of Lithuanian Republic, so it should be freely available...” Nerija Putinaitė, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Education and Science (Lithuania)
  15. 15. “I think that OA is a good thing and it shouldconstantly expand. I hope that gradually there will be more openness, because it is very important that the publications are widely read. For me it is important how research supported by us[Research Council of Lithuania] is read, used, and what impact it has. Eventually OA should prevail...The positive aspect is that it is free. Another positive aspect is that science crosses the boundaries of a narrow circle, opens the space for a wider evaluation of scientific works, and reduces the number of falsifications” Professor Ruta Marcinkevičienė, Vice-Chairman of the Research Council of Lithuania, Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania)
  16. 16. Tactics (2)It is important to identify influential research administrators and prominent researchers who support OA
  17. 17. “OA results have more visibility, and at the same time they better represent thescientist or group of scientists to the wholesociety. OA helps to strengthen the relation between science and society.” Professor Juozas Vidmantis Vaitkus, Vilnius University, Faculty of Physics (Lithuania)
  18. 18. “We launched an OA journal to give ourresearchers an opportunity to freely publish their research results and make them visible globally. If you want to keep up with the current research, you need fast access to research results. As a scientist I aminterested in larger audience for my papers. And I support and practice OA to research publications.” Dr. Roman Hladyshevskii, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, editor-in-chief, Chemistry of Metals and Alloys Journal (Ukraine)
  19. 19. “Providing global access to our research outputs is an action line in our Research Developmentprogramme. This is why about three years ago welaunched an OA institutional repository where you can find almost all our publications. If we wouldn’t use this tool, who would have access to our research? And who had before we launched the repository? OA also protects research materialsfrom being plagiarised. Who would plagiarise from openly available sources? So this also an important prevention tool for unethical researchers.” Anatoliy Zahorodniy, Vice Chancellor forResearch and Teaching, Lviv National Polytechnic University (Ukraine)
  20. 20. Tactics (3)It is also important to partner with young researchers groups and associations
  21. 21. Tactics (4) For the institutional-level advocacyproject to succeed, one of the tactics is to involve the highest authority in theUniversity/College and to convince them tobecome the champions of the project, to self- archive/provide their research materials for mediated depositing
  22. 22. Tactics (5) Bottom-up approach starting from the faculties and up to the Universitymanagement also proved to be a successful approach
  23. 23. Tactics (6): University of Zimbabwe- faculty librarians included into the Library OACommittee;- were trained at a half-day workshop to be librarychampions in faculty-based advocacy work;- each faculty librarian was tasked to come up withan academic member of staff who he/she couldwork with in the campaign;- Each faculty librarian worked up a strategy thatsuited a particular faculty.
  24. 24. Tactics (7) For the campaign to be successful there should be a dedicated committee thatincludes librarians, researchers (and students if possible) and research administrators
  25. 25. Tactics (8) Tying to actions works well For example, having draft OA policies
  26. 26. Tactics (9)If you plan educational programmes, it is important to identify real educational needs of your target audience
  27. 27. Tactics (10) Try to actively engage your targetaudience: not only in a group but also one- on-oneWork with OA supporters from the facultyas champions in your advocacy activities
  28. 28. Tactics (11)It is very efficient to present case studies of OA repositories and OA journals to research communities Live examples are always powerfulDemonstration of already established OArepositories/journals advocates for itself
  29. 29. “Presentations about OA inspired us tolaunch a new OA journal “Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe” and register it in the Directory of OA Journals” Tatiana Andreeva, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine)
  30. 30. Tactics (12)When OA is a new concept for the audience,try present the topic of OA along with othermore familiar issues that have gained some attention
  31. 31. Tactics (13)Try to keep journalists writing about science informed
  32. 32. Tools (2)Radio talk shows seem to be a useful tool to engage with general public
  33. 33. Tools (3) Promotional materials such as flyers, brochures, posters, T-shirts, branded pens/pencils help to market the events/projects
  34. 34. Tools (5)A repository usage module is a powerful advocacy tool
  35. 35. Challenges, Lessons Learnt and RecommendationsThe right timing for proposing an OA policy is extremely importantWhen working with university administrators(or any major stakeholders) you should be aware of their priorities
  36. 36. Challenges, LessonsLearnt andRecommendations (2)Any institutional-level advocacy project should be designed formulti-stakeholder communities
  37. 37. Challenges, Lessons Learnt and Recommendations (3) Try to start planning all project activitiesas early as possible, especially main events like workshops Try to avoid last minute rush
  38. 38. Challenges, LessonsLearnt andRecommendations (4)Research lunches proved to be a big success
  39. 39. Challenges, Lessons Learnt and Recommendations (5)In-person visits with directors/leadership of departments and institutions is a very effective way to cultivate a sharedunderstanding of the concept of OA, as well as to get a buy-in
  40. 40. Challenges, Lessons Learnt and Recommendations (6)It is possible to achieve ambitious objectives on a tight budget when the enthusiasm is there as a driving forceHowever, it is extremely important that there is a strong institutional commitment to the project when trying to develop an OA infrastructure from scratch
  41. 41. Challenges, LessonsLearnt andRecommendations (7) It is absolutely necessary to have atrained team available with the required technical and managerial capacitiesTraining of the trainers is necessary
  42. 42. Challenges, LessonsLearnt andRecommendations (8)Plan continued advocacy activities and dont limit your strategy to one event
  43. 43. Some resultsOver 1700 national policy makers, researchadministrators, researchers, students,journal editors/publishers, and librariansattended workshops/other outreach events;New partnerships with various stakeholders;Educational materials in 7 languages havebeen developed, including 6 short videos;
  44. 44. Some results (2)30 new OA repositories set up;Increase in research output deposited in OA repositories;OA publishing initiatives launched in Estonia, Botswana & Malawi;2 OA theses mandates: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Ghana, & University of Zimbabwe
  45. 45. Some results (3)University of Tartu Library takes part in the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research programme for monitoring Estonian research policies and is involved in national policy discussions;A core group of OA advocates acts as the advisory body on OA in Slovenia;National and institutional OA policy discussions in Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Botswana, Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe.
  46. 46. AcknowledgementsThe work presented in this paper would not be possible without the keycontribution of the OA advocacy campaigns managers and authors of EIFL-OAcase studies: Rania M. H. Baleela, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum(Sudan), and Pablo de Castro, GrandIR (Spain); CB.Bożena Bednarek-Michalska, Nicolaus Copernicus University, and Karolina Grodecka, AkademiaGorniczo-Hutnicza University of Science and Technology (Poland); AgnesChikonzo, University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe); Richard Bruce Lamptey,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana); ReasonBaathuli Nfila, University of Botswana (Botswana); Elena Sipria-Mironov andMerit Burenkov, University of Tartu Library (Estonia); Ugis Skele, University ofLatvia (Latvia); Dr Luka Šušteršič, Jožef Stefan Institute Science InformationCentre (Slovenia); Gintarė Tautkevičienė, Kaunas University of Technology(Lithuania); Kondowani Wella, University of Malawi, Kamuzu College of Nursing(Malawi); Tetiana Yaroshenko, National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, andOleksii Vasyliev, Informatio Consortium (Ukraine); supported by the InformationProgramme, Open Society Foundations as a part of EIFL-OA programmeactivities
  47. 47. Thank you! Questions?